The ‘Hat Rack’ Building in Glasgow

The very first thing I posted on this blog was a photograph of a building that reminded me of some of the Gaudi buildings I had seen on a visit to Barcelona. I have a habit of wandering around looking up at architecture which is not very smart as I need a walking stick to walk and there is always the likelihood of falling down the many potholes that litter the streets of Glasgow.However, you see some amazing things when you look up rather than at the pavement!

Having taken the photograph, I decided to find out a bit more about the building itself. It is situated in St Vincent Street, Glasgow and is a very narrow building. It was built from red sandstone in 1899 with lavish use of what was then a novelty, wrought iron and lots of glass. The architect was one James Salmon who was a contemporary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The building is ten stories high and has the strange cupola made of lead that you can see in the photo. Many people thougt it looked like a hat rack, so the building has been known as such ever since. Despite the narrowness of the building, the architect managed to squeeze in more than forty windows including a drum shaped stained glass window which has a sailing ship design.

The building was renovated in 1990 and is now an office block. I didn’t manage to go in but according to letting agent blurb, the lifts are still in the original wrought iron art nouveau style but presumably with up to date machinery.